Toward the end of summer…

Busy day today; picking up the daughter at Midway this evening (early); and my wife is returning from her Europe trip early either late tomorrow or Wednesday.

Workout notes: weights plus an easy 5K walk where I focused on “push off” (to Lower Bradley Park and back)

Bodyweight: 187 upon waking up.
weights: pull ups: 4 sets of 10 with rotator cuff recoveries, then 1 more set of 10 after bench press
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 3 x 185, 7 x 170. I didn’t go for an “extra rep” as I was the ONLY one in the free weight area…literally. Yes, the bench has “safety catches” so I was safe so long as I didn’t push it.
dumbbell military press/dumbbell row/pull down super set
military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 (seated, supported), 10 x 40 standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 60 each arm
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160 usual machine

Then the walk.


Yes, there are “good business practices” and people ignore these at their peril. Yes, this is a Herman Cain article, and yes, many conservatives (and sadly, some liberals) happily ignore scientists when their conclusions don’t match with their agendas. Nevertheless, running a business is a skill that many do not have. So I’ll give the “bad guys” their due here.

And yes, here is another case of that: a senior fellow of the Cato institute points out that while ISIS is evil, it really isn’t a serious threat to the United States.

Politics: winning the House will always be tough for us. Gerrymandering hurts, having a sitting President hurts and the nature of “who is a Democrat, who is a Republican hurts”. Basically, rural areas will tend to be over represented in the House and the Senate; the latter by design.

Relationships: oh yes, many of us have had those wonderful times when we weren’t quite in serious relationship, but we were sure enjoying the hell out of it. That is the best: enjoy the company and the cute butt without morning breath, illnesses, idiotic relatives, personal problems and the rest of the baggage. And what you didn’t know about the other person: YOU could just fill that stuff in with your own mind!

August 3, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, relationships, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Republicans and the Poor

Workout notes; weight then an easy, untimed 5K walk (Bradley Park via Parkside)
pull ups; 5 sets of 10 (went well)
incline: 10 x 135, 2 sets of 7 x 150
rotator cuff
super set: military press (dumbbells), pull downs (usual machine), rows
military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
rows: 2 sets of dumbbell rows (each arm) 10 x 50, 1 set of 10 x 110 machine.

This Kathleen Parker article is pretty good; it really slams some of the GOP presidential candidate buffoonery. Just read. President Obama is looking good by contrast.

Poverty: yes, growing up poor can adversely affect one’s IQ, even later in life. This is yet another reason that things like SNAP (especially for kids) is a good investment.

July 31, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics/social, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Why I have turned into such a head case (sports)

Workout notes: got an early start; lifted then ran on the track/treadmill.

Lifting: pull ups (4 sets of 10; went really well), with rotator cuff recoveries.
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 3 x 185, 7 x 170
pull ups: another set of 10
super set of military, row, pull downs:
military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 dumbbell, standing, 1 set of 12 x 40 dumbbell, standing
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 (machine)
pull down: 3 sets of 10 x 150 (two different machines).

As I neared the end of my weight routine, I almost dreaded my planned run. I think that I know why.

What I did: 11 minute treadmill mile
2 miles (middle lane, track) 17:51 (8:57/8:53, some slow down on the last 800 m)
10:45 treadmill run.

Then 10 minutes on the bike to cool down and make my knees feel good.

Yes, my first half mile was 4:34

What is going on (re: head case): well, it is no secret that I am slowing down; this spring saw my worst 5K running performances since the fall of 2011. Part of it might well be my shift to marathon walk training (which IS going reasonably well, so it seems). But part of it is that I am 4 years older.

And, well, it appears as if I am approaching the “9 minute miles becoming reasonably difficult” stage; that is one landmark that I’d never thought that I’d reach. My current 9 minute mile is what my old 7 minute mile used to be. That doesn’t feel good, at least emotionally.

But, at the gym, there was an old retired physics professor who is approaching 80 and…yes, I remember when he was as I am now. He is still working out, doing things right. And…well…that is a preview for me (IF I am LUCKY) so I may as well enjoy doing what I can do.

So, before I run, I find myself saying “let me be accepting of what I can do today”; when I do that I am more relaxed and I run better.

Head case: politics The Fox News Republican debate: there is a JV and a varsity debate, with the “top 10″ being invited to the latter.

July 29, 2015 Posted by | 2016, running, weight training | | 2 Comments

Not used to a big lunch

I filled in to teach a class today..and then went to swim:

500 free, 250 of back/fly, 150 of side, 100 IM, 4 x (100 free, 100 pull, 100 fins)
Then weights:

pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (stronger than I had anticipated), super sets with
military (machine, 10 x 100 each arm)
rows( machine, 10 x 110)
rotator cuff

Then incline presses: 10 x 135, 10 x 135, 5 x 135 (quit as I was getting tight)

But when I went home, Barbara’s cleaning woman was still there (she had started late), so I walked to the Vietnamese place for a buffet lunch.
It was good, but it was also more food than I was used to.
So when I tried to concentrate on a work topic…..zzzzzzz……and I ended up checking Facebook about 50 times…

There is a reason I eat a light lunch on most days.

FAIL I was looking at a math book (for a class that I am teaching) and read the phrase “…. i(t) = a(t) -a(t-1) for integral t \geq 0 ” and I didn’t quite get the word “integral” (I had just taught calculus…) until my colleague patiently reminded me of the phrase “for integral multiples of \pi

“slow brain + heavy lunch” = “embarrassing fails”.

July 27, 2015 Posted by | mathematics, swimming, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

I’m too danged lazy!!

Workout notes: I started on a run and, upon seeing flashes of light and a very overcast sky, quit 4 miles into it (half of a Cornstalk 8). It turns out it was just car lights.

But I ate a light breakfast and then headed to the Riverplex to lift:

Pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (strong) and lots of rotator cuff stuff (slow and deliberate)
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185 (quit), 9 x 160, dumbbell: 10 x 70
military: standing, with dumbbells: 10 x 45, 2 sets of 10 x 40
rows: 3 sets of 10 on the prone machine: 70, 55, 55. (it turns out the foot rest settings matters)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 150

Then a 3 mile walk outside (humid) then 10 minutes on the stationary bike.
All in all, I spent a lot of time and did several things, but really didn’t “do” all that much; I really just went through the motions today.

1. I saw a feather moving on the ground…a small one. It turns out that an ant was carrying it!
2. I saw a ground hog, several bunnies and a lot of geese. The goose loop is partially underwater (still)
3. As I ran on Parkside drive, a MILF was out working in her yard; she was wearing old, faded leggings. She waved at me..and as I went past…clear as a bell VPLs. Love ’em.

That got me thinking: attractiveness is a commodity that some women can use to get ahead, at least initially. Check out this “weather woman” sensation:


(click the screen shot to see the video)


(click the screen shot to see the video)

I posted one of these videos on Facebook, and someone reminded me that she has a Facebook fan page.


You can surmise what is on it by the photo selection in the corner. :-)

However, I was mildly surprised to find this:


Evidently, being “the next Kim Kardashian” is something to be aspired to! :-)

Yes, the article is a real one and this is a photo from it:


Oh my.

But…I suppose this is part of the entertainment business and, if you wish to stand out for your beauty, it had better be extraordinary. After all, only the finest athletes, actors, singers and artists can command a media audience; even being “very good” isn’t good enough to get you to appear on people’s screens.

And, as far as the “beauty queens” and “athletes” go: THAT level of ability only lasts for a brief time; better strike while the iron is still hot and the body is still responsive.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | big butts, running, spandex, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

wasting too much time…

But it is summer.

Workout notes: lifting, running, walking.

Lifting: 4 sets of 10 pull ups (ok), rotator cuff recoveries. Barbara scolded me about “swinging” through these; she was right.
incline presses: 10 x 135, 7 x 150, 7 x 150 (strong)
pull ups: 1 set of 10
superset of pull downs, dumbbell military presses, rows:

military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing
pull downs: 2 sets of 10 x 150 double pulley, 10 x 150 alternate machine
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 60 (each arm), 10 x 110 alternate machine

Then to running: 11 minute mile on the treadmill, then 8:53/8:31 for 17:24, enough to get to 3.18 in 30 minutes. 6.7/6.8 for mile 2, 6.9/7.0/7.1/7.2 for mile 2.
Then walking outside; great day (4 mile Cornstalk course, untimed).

Note: I’ve had recent left knee soreness (not so much this week) and some light rotator cuff soreness; I need to stay diligent with stretching and rotator cuff stuff.

In a nutshell:
running is really sucking.
walking is getting stronger (significantly so)
lifting is getting stronger
swimming: what one would expect on one swim a week. Time to bump it to 2.
Bodyweight: hovering in the 187-189 range right now, up from the pre FANS 183-185 range.

But the extra weight doesn’t really show, at least visually:


More photos: here are some of my favorite shots from June’s FANS 24 hour event. Though my 59.9 miles was, well, what I could do while untrained..dang..”if only” I had picked it up, perhaps 10 minutes earlier?

COULDAWOULDASHOULDA doesn’t count, does it? But I did have fun and here are some shots of the 12 hour winner, 2 centurions, and a strong 24 hour runner who entered as a walker and still picked up 80+ miles.







July 23, 2015 Posted by | running, ultra, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Bench press benchmark

Today: too damned lazy. I lifted and swam..but mostly goofed off. Note: I am on a 10 month contract.

Workout notes: weights, then swimming.

Bodyweight: 185 (gym), 184.5 home.
Weights: pull ups: 4 sets of 10, rotator cuff in between.
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 8 x 170
incline: 10 x 135
pull ups: 10 (to get to 50)
military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 dumbbell, seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing.
rows: dumbbell: 2 sets of 10 x 50 (each arm), 10 x 60 (each arm)

Note: as a graduate student, I once got 11 x 230 (body weight at the time). So, I’ve lost 8 body weight reps since 1986.

Swim: 500 easy, 5 x 25 back, 25 free, 5 x 25 fly, 25 back
5 x (100 pull, 100 fins)
4 x 50 fist/free
2200 yards (1.25 miles, or 2000 meters) total. Note: I mixed the strokes as my rotator cuff was slightly sore.

The gym was mostly empty so I didn’t pus the body weight set; I MIGHT have had one more rep in me but I didn’t want to take a chance, even though the bench has a “safety catch”.

Social: Diner owner had enough with parents letting their toddler scream.

Of course, some are going “oh how horrible”. Well, I have a solution: someone should open a restaurant that openly advertises “screaming kids are ok”…heck, let the little darlings run around the tables, run into the waiters and other patrons, etc. And let people who don’t believe in disciplining their kids go there.

July 20, 2015 Posted by | swimming, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Football, socialism and dreaming…

Workout notes: I had to fill in for my department chair, so I had a late start to my workout. Bodyweight (home scale): 187.5

Weights only:
pull ups: 3 sets of 10, with rotator cuff recoveries.
bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 1 x 195, 4 x 180 (rotator cuff recoveries)
dumbbell bench press: 10 x 70
incline press: 10 x 135
pull ups: 2 more sets of 10, and 2 more sets of 5 (60 total)
military press: 2 sets of 10 with 45 (dumbbell, standing)
military press: 10 x 100 each arm (200 total), machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 (machine)
pull downs: 2 sets of 10 x 160 regular machine, 10 x 150 alternate machine.

I am looking forward to being able to do 200 in the bench press again. The 195 was done strongly, but not easily.

I had a discussion with a good friend last night; she is a Republican and has been one all of her life. She doesn’t like her slate of Presidential candidates, AT ALL. She is really tired of the pandering to the social conservatives; she wants a “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” party. So I talked a little bit about us and mentioned that many of my friends are really high on Senator Bernie Sanders and thought that he could win nationally, she broke into laughter.

I don’t blame her; I see Sen. Sanders as being roughly the analogue of Ted Cruz for Republicans: popular among the base, with next to 0 chance nationally.

Oh, you can talk about his being a sour old man (“a sourpuss who never smiles” as one current politician told me) but the man isn’t even a Democrat; he is a self proclaimed socialist.
Now you might say: “hey wait, don’t you LIKE socialist ideas such as social security, Medicare for all (single payer), tuition free public universities and the like?”

Sure. And yes, these are smart, socialist ideas. But that term is, at the present time, a death sentence for a political candidate who hopes to win nationally.

As to why, I have a guess.

I see the United States as a country of dreamers. A national socialist agenda basically says that…well, that the vast majority of Americans are rather average people.
Of course, that is true on statistical grounds, but try getting *ANYONE* to admit that.

As John Steinback once said:

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

(remember this was said when a million dollars was a lot of money for a family to have)

Or Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie Reds said: (2:00 to 2:25)

Yes, I wasn’t immune to the dream either. I remember my early high school days when I played football at a small school in Japan..varsity as a sophomore…yes, baby, I was NFL bound!

Then we moved to Texas…and in the first off season workout..I ended up nauseated and throwing up. Oh man…at this level..when I moved up to the varsity as a senior..I routinely got my ass kicked.

Real athletes: well, the look like this, and I never saw that when I looked in the mirror.

But even afterward..I thought “these coaches didn’t appreciate my abilities”. True, those coaches WERE dumb and the team I played on as a senior pretty much sucked and I should have played more. But those destined to higher levels of athletics…well, they were superior to me in just about every way, by a lot. Any scout could have told you that. Some of the time I did hold my own against those who got junior college offers..but that was about it.

Dreams die hard, and a mass acceptance of mediocrity, no matter how much it reflects reality, isn’t going to happen in the United States, at least in the near future.

July 17, 2015 Posted by | 2016, politics, politics/social, social/political, weight training | , , , | Leave a comment

Getting better?

Workout notes: easy 4 mile run (Cornstalk 4) then weights:
pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (strong)
rotator cuff
incline: 10 x 135, 7 x 150 (strong), 8 x 145
military press (dumbbell) seated: 2 sets of 12 x 50, standing: 10 x 45
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 (machine)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160 (traditional)

I felt stronger than normal; it was either “more rest” between sets or a recent weight gain? I’ll have to weigh tomorrow.

I felt good about the 7 x 150 on the incline; I gave myself a personal “2 thumbs up” and a young man saw me; he gave me a knowing glance. I was embarrassed to be happy over such a light weight.

Yes, Sen. Sanders is becoming more popular. But that isn’t hurting Sec. Clinton.

Some Germans are upset with what Paul Krugman has said about the Greek bailout and German reaction. Why “suck it up, Buttercup” conservatives are so quick to claim the “persecuted victim” card is beyond me.

Iran deal: note that some of the details were worked out by US nuclear scientists. People who know how to make nuclear weapons know what limits must be place at what part of the nuclear process. For more, see this.

GMO: beware of the anti-GMO campaigns.

July 15, 2015 Posted by | 2016, running, science, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Motivation level: zzzzzz

I am having some coffee to perk me up. A good weekend of working out, a swim plus muggy weather….zzzzzz…. (and probably not enough sleep).

Workout notes Swim: crowded pool, AT FIRST.
I shared a lane with a bad ass woman for a while (she was very nice to me)

4 x 250 free (zzz intensity)
10 x 100 (fist/free) on 2:10 (lazy; mostly 2-2:05)
4 x (25 fly, 25 back)

Weights (zzz intensity)

5 sets of 10 pull ups (surprisingly well); 4 sets of 10 then 1 more after bench presses
rotator cuff
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 170 (lazy), 10 x 155
military: (standing, dumbbells) 10 x 40, 3 sets
rows: 3 sets of 10 with 140 (sitting row machine)

The gym was surprisingly empty.

There was one thing I wondered about. There was a personal trainer there. I remember her from last week; she worse orange and white spandex tights; today she wore white shorts. Each time, you could see the dimples in her butt and legs; she did NOT look in particularly good shape to me. Now, of course, I’ve seen some fabulously fit personal trainers as well; one has won the female overall Steamboat 15K race a number of times.

But I wonder what obligation does a personal trainer have to look fit themselves? I guess that there are sports coaches that are in horrible condition so I guess it is knowledge and not physical ability that matters.

July 13, 2015 Posted by | swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment


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